My first car was a 1975 Oldsmobile Omega SX and I did a post about it HERE. My mom and dad bought me that car as a graduation present from high school. I was allowed to keep it until I finished high school and then while I completed a 2 year junior college and then I was to give it to my sister, which I did.
My second car was sort of a gift from my paternal grandfather. He wanted to give it to me, but my dad wouldn't let him, my dad said I had to buy it from my Tata. So dad and I went down to good ol' Bank of America and dad co-signed my first auto loan and I made every single payment on time to my Tata.
From then on every car was a purchase with my husband. The last car my husband I purchased together was a red Ford Explorer. When we divorced I got custody of the Explorer and of our two kids, all in all I got the better deal, as my ex only ended up with himself! But that's another story and we won't go there!
Back in September of 2003 my poor little Explorer's transmission just decided it had given it's all for me and my little family and it died. So with a heavy heart I had to go out shopping for my own car. No dad, no husband, just me.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. September 9, 2003. I headed out that day on my own to buy a car. I had never bought a car on my own.
I remember test driving cars at Honda and Toyota and Ford and while they all approved me, the monthly price and the down payment was way more than I was comfortable with. I didn't know what to do. I drove away dejected and defeated!
As I came around the corner I saw a salesman showing a couple a car that had these super fantastic doors. I didn't know what this car was but the doors intrigued me as they opened like this:
I thought that was the coolest thing ever and I bravely stopped to ask about this car. A salesman by the name of Ron came up to me as I stood there looking, with my mouth open, at this car. I asked about those doors and told him I wanted one just like it!
We looked at a few but by now I could do the numbers in my head and I knew that I couldn't afford the car, so I told him so. He said he was going to show me a car I could afford...and he did.
Did it have fancy doors? A cool paint job? Great wheels? No...but guess what? It was affordable and it had dent resistant doors. I know this because Ron beat and kicked the door of the car I test drove and when I decided I wanted to go in and go over the numbers on it I remember telling him I wanted a different one, not the one he beat up (even though there wasn't a scratch on it). He said no, that car, the one I test drove, that was going to be my car. He said as long as I had it I was never going to have to worry about dents and dings because of the doors Saturn had put on it.
Well there...I let the cat out of the bag and told you what kind of car it was. It was a brand new 2003 Saturn Ion, and 12 years later, this is that car.
See...not a scratch or a ding on those doors! This was the first car that I ever bought on my own. This car and I went through so many things together. Twelve years is a long time and I'm going to miss her. She kept on trucking like a trooper until one morning she gave her life's blood (oil) all over my driveway and my mechanic said he could fix her, but he wouldn't because I couldn't afford it and he wasn't going to do all that needed to be done because he physically wasn't able too anymore. My car and my mechanic both got old on me.
So I have a new car and I'm sure that I will make many memories and have good times and bad with the new one...but nothing will ever be as special to me as that Saturn Ion. The first car I ever bought and paid for all on my own! Goodbye Sweet Saturn, I will always miss you!